Sforza Castle, Milan, Italy

     Sforza Castle, Milan, Italy (Castello Sforzesco, or Castello Sforza) is one of the most interesting historical monuments in Milan, must things to do in Milan and is idea for budget travel tips, and is a kind of prototype of the Moscow Kremlin.

The decision to start construction of the castle-fortress was taken in 1368 by the Duke of Milan Galeazzo II Visconti – member of the famous dynasty Visconti, which ruled Milan for about two centuries, from 1277 to 1447. The construction of the Sforza Castle began when Francesco Sforza,     seized power in Milan in 1450.

Francesco Sforza died in 1466, and his heirs were rebuilt castle under the     duke's castle residence with the help of Leonardo da Vinci and     Bramante. At     the same time creates and luxurious interiors of the castle, some of which can still be seen today. The castle included a great number of patios, an elegant square lined with arcades of Bramante and Filaret.

During     the reign of Duke Lodovico Moro, a brother Galeazzo (late 70's -     90-ies of the XV century), Sforza Castle was one of the most     beautiful and wealthy ducal courts in Italy.

Since     the seizure of power by Louis XII, who proclaimed himself Duke of Milan, Sforza Castle with the once luxurious mansions turned into a conventional military strength.

During     the period of Spanish rule the Sforza Castle, which has continued to play a protective fortress was surrounded by additional fortifications, and massive ramparts. Drawings and literature of     that time showed that there were posted as a hospital, tavern, store     for ice and food, and two troops of the church. Halls,     painted by Leonardo and Bramantino were turned into barns.

In the days of Napoleon ducal power again fell, and part of the Milanese who profess extreme views, has demanded the destruction of the palace Sforza. Napoleon, in spite of these requirements has decided to restore the old part of the castle-fortress to house his troops. And     in the castle once again deploy troops - now Napoleonic. Under Napoleon, demolished numerous shafts and fortifications built by the Spaniards. Undeveloped but was only part of the territory was turned into a vast park.
When Napoleon was built near the Arch of Triumph Palace.

In 1815, after Napoleon's defeat, the Austrians returned to Milan and he became the chief city of Lombardy and Venice. A revolutionary events of 1848, the Milanese performances against Austrian domination led to the destruction of another part of the walls and     buildings of the castle.
   
Restoration of the palace began in the mid XIX century. Reconstruction was carried out on the draft proposed by the Milan architect Luca Beltrami. Work in the palace began with the restoration of the angular cylindrical     towers of the facade of the palace.

In May 1900 partially reconstructed Palace was opened to the first visits. Now in the palace of the Sforza - a complex of museums. It houses the Museum of Ancient Art, the exhibition which contains works of art of Lombardy IV-XVI centuries, as well as a collection of antique furniture, archaeological finds and numismatics.
   
Particular attention is among the exhibits attracting "Pieta Rondanini" - the last of the great sculpture of Michelangelo, the remaining unfinished.